Pharrell Williams

Real Name: Pharrell Williams
D.O.B.: 5th April, 1973 Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Label: Star Trak/Interscope Records

Pharrell Williams is one of the most famous hip-hop & pop music producers, songwriters and hip-hop artist of the modern industry. He is one half of the production duo, The Neptunes together with Chad Hugo. He is also the front man to the unique funk-rock band, N*E*R*D. He is also an avid skateboarder, fashion icon and entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of the clothing brand Billionaire Boys Club and Ice Cream Footwear, labels catering to the skateboarding and hip-hop crossover crowd. He has modelled for Louis Vuitton and was voted the "Best Dressed Man in the World" in 2005 by Esquire. As a recording superstar and part of The Neptunes, Pharrell has worked with some of the highest-selling acts in the hip-hop, r&B and pop categories bringing his distinct Skateboard P style with him. He plays the drums, keyboard, and sings in a falsetto voice. Pharrell's work in The Neptunes has earned them three Grammy Awards amongst ten nominations.

Early life

Pharrell was born in Virginia Beach, Virginia to Carolyn and Pharoah Williams II. He has five brothers, Pharoah Williams III, David Williams, Cato Williams, a professional skateboarder and Psolomon Williams, who is currently still in high school living in Virginia. Pharrell has also stated on MTV and in The Guardian paper that he is in fact a Christian: "Williams define his own religious beliefs? 'I'm Christian.' Does he go to church? 'I ain't been in so long man. But God knows my heart. I have conversations with God a few times every day.'"

Pharrell met Chad Hugo in a seventh grade summer band camp where Williams was a drummer and Hugo played tenor saxophone. They were also both members of a marching band, where Pharrell played the snare drum, and with Chad as a student conductor. In the 1990s, Hugo and Pharrell formed a 4-piece "R&B type" group along with friends Shay and Mike Etheridge, which they named The Neptunes. They later entered a high school talent show where they were discovered by Teddy Riley, whose studio is next to Pharrell's school Princess Anne High School. After graduating from high school, they signed with Riley as a group. Pharrell Williams explained to Cosmopolitan Magazine "When I was younger, I was fired from McDonald's because I was lazy. Basically, I was getting in the way. After that, I worked at two other McDonald's, and they both fired me for the same thing."

Recording Career

Through working with Emanuel "E.BABY" Holmes (Tarpon Springs Fl.), Pharrell went on to write Holmes verse for Wreckx-N-Effect's 1992 hit "Rump Shaker" (#2 Billboard Hot 100, 2x Platinum). That same year, he also performed a small rap solo on SWV's second hit, 'Right Here". In 1994, Hugo and Williams had established themselves formally as a production duo under the previously used name "The Neptunes", and produced "Tonight's The Night" from BLACKstreet's self-titled debut (Holmes being a member of BLACKstreet). Over the next three years they continued to produce occasionally. Some of the production had little resemblance to the trademark Neptunes sound present today, including some of the productions for SWV (1996). However, some like Mase's 1998 No.8 (Billboard Hot 100) hit "Lookin' At Me" (from the Harlem World album, and the most definite beginning of the distinctive 'Neptunes Sound', came with N.O.R.E.'s "Superthug" in 1998, reaching #36 on the Billboard Hot 100, and gaining them widespread attention for the first time. The duo then went on to work heavily with Kelis (producing her first album Kaleidoscope in its entirety) and Ol' Dirty Bastard (Nigga Please), followed by Mystikal's hit single, "Shake Ya Ass".

In 2001, The Neptunes produced Britney Spears' single, "I'm a Slave 4 U" gaining their first world-wide #1. The same year, Pharrell, Hugo and Haley released their first album as N*E*R*D In Search Of...) in Europe, where the first Kelis album was better received. The album sounded very much like their previous production work; the group decided that they should make their work as N*E*R*D sound different, and re-recorded the album, with the funk-rock band Spymob. The Neptunes also signed The Clipse, a rap duo from Virginia Beach that Pharrell had met back in 1993, to Arista Records through his recently established Star Trak Entertainment imprint.

In 2002 their re-produced album was released worldwide, and The Neptunes reached #1 in the U.S. with Nelly’s single, "Hot in Herre". In August of the same year, The Neptunes were named "Producers of the Year" at both The Source Awards and the Billboard Music Awards. Clipse released their commercial debut album, Lord Willin' on August 20, 2002. The album opened at #1 on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-hop Album chart and #4 on the Billboard Hot 200, fueled by the strength of its first two singles, "Grindin'" and "When the Last Time," which peaked at #34 and #19 respectively on the Billboard Hot 100.

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